Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Howard Bedno

Chicagoan, husband, father, grandfather, D Day veteran, record producer, band manager, club owner, publisher, serial entrepreneur, music promoter, epicurean captain of the Lunch Club.

Ed McCaskey, Eli Schulman, Howard Bedno

He was always impeccably dressed, a marked preference for Armani. An easy man to find, he held a ritual court amid his consorts, the rich and famous lunch crowd at Eli's. A maven of national eminence, he was also the tireless mensch that returned your call the same day without fail ("please hold, Mr. Bedno calling"). While he was certainly "Mr. Bedno" to many, he was simply "Howard" to a great many more.

At industry gatherings he shunned the designated hotels, instead making The Ritz Carlton or The Four Seasons his pied-a-terre. He didn't just stay at a five star hotel, he owned the joint. No matter his surroundings, Howard was in facile command of a refined and engaging presence. Everyone who met this gentleman immediately knew him to be somebody special; his grace, charm, sharp sense of humor and infectious laugh won over even the most jaded. Howard prevailed.

He was well read, conversant at the post graduate level on all things media, politics, sports, entertainment, affairs of the day, and business, especially the business of music. He brought perspective to the party, he had been there and done that too many times to mention. Accordingly, he often introduced that most rare of arguments - the obvious, while also imparting another seldom heard point of view - the relevant. And Howard was iconic; he embodied the authentic old school perspicacious spirit of music's halcyon days. He loved music and he loved show business. He lived each day with vivacity, he suffered no fools, living his life in Chicago a world apart from the pretension and vanities of New York and the coast. His famous wit and Chicago-style brand of candor was fresh with honest bite, one leavened by the street wisdom of Chicago's hardscrabble west side. In the autumn of his years he wasted no time laurelling, obsessed in the moment, his conversation vivid with today and tomorrow.

He possessed a knack for picking not only hit records but hit people as well. John Rook, John Gehron, Barry James, Joel Denver, Steve Dahl, Jay Cunniff, Johnny B, Sonny Joe White, Marty Greenberg, Steve Perun, Ric Lippincott, Gary Bond, Art Roberts, Dick Biondi, Fred Winston, Bill Curtis, Tex Meyer, Jeff McClusky, Kevin Metheny, Dave Shakes, Burt Burdeen, Kurt Hanson, Harvey Wells, Margo Kenez, Jerry Greenberg, John Iltis, Donny Ienner, Rich Melman, Steve Rudolf, Stuart Brent, Jhani Kaye, Tim Sabien, Nancy Stein, Buddy Scott, Todd Cavanaugh, Irving Azoff and Mike Ditka are but a few of the many whose gifts he recognized and championed over the years. As the genius Chuck Blore once scored for WCFL..."as much a part of Chicago as"...so went the indigenous son turned legend Howard Bedno.

There has never been a person like Howard, nor will there ever be again. All of us who knew him are blessed, each and all better for having known this fine gentleman. Howard was a giant, an original, a class act and a dear friend. More here and here


Anonymous said...

Doofus of the day at the Bedno graveside services was the (fortunately) non-attending Mark Edwards. Everyone who saw his moronic quotes was torn between which was worse: The part where Howard Bedno's life was all about Mark getting into the business? Or the incredible stupidity of his confusing Howard with Paul Gallis, whose "Thanks, Paul Gallis" record stickers were incorrectly attributed to Bedno.

Anonymous said...

Dave, your writing is sublime. I agree with your views about 50% of the time. You have decided not to post my comments on another Howard, Howard Stern, due to your stupid stance on use of the F word in comments but I guess that is your option (your censorship is still totally wrong). Your repeated defense of Joel Hollander and other CBS suits is total ******** (note: an eight letter word I will not use to give you a reason to delete this post). I will give you a tiny bit of credit for not deleting (SO FAR) the above comment on Edwards and if there is not a comment shown it only proves my point, you are in the tank with your CBS pals. Face it Dave once a CBS suit always a CBS suit. Dare you to let this comment stand. Write more about media issues, you are good, sometimes great at that. Your thought pieces are generally excellent just stop pushing the company line for CBS, stop being a flak for Moonves and Hollander.

Dave said...

On Mark Edwards: Mark is a good man, I would rather hold the belief that he was caught up in the emotion of the news and was confused. R&R should have done a better job with the story, Howard deserved better.

On comment moderation: Would rather not have it this way but it seems the only option that keeps spam and profane comments off. Posting your comment required no dare only losing the language that would be considered not safe or appropriate for the workplace. Want to write that way any way? Get a blog and send me the link to the comment.

On CBS: Guilty - for thinking highly of Joel and Les. "In the tank" "Flak" for CBS seems to put much more into the writing than is actually here. This blog contains my views, it is therefore commentary and not a news coverage.

Thank you for your comments, they are always welcome.

Dave said...

P.S. on Mark Edwards:

The first I heard of Mark's misstep on the Paulie Gallis stickers I did send him an email indicating he was in error. I also contacted R&R via email, about the error when published online.